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Samsung releases exFAT filesystem source
Posted Aug 18, 2013 4:12 UTC (Sun) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
It is true that if ExFAT is a GPL derived code then Samsung has a legal obligation to offer source code versions to all receivers of the program.
It is also true that if ExFAT is covered by Microsoft patents then Samsung or the receiver of the program is legally responsible to get a patent license from Microsoft.
The only thing to call into question is at what point does one infringe on the Microsoft if Exfat requires a patent license. It may happen during shipping and duplication of the code, but the patent may only kick in when it's running on hardware. It just depends on what exactly the patent covers.
For example; if the patent has in the claims that one of the steps indicates the software interaction with the hardware.. then as long as you don't have the software installed on a system then you are not liable for patent infringement. So it may be legal to ship the source code, but once you compile it and ship it on hardware then you are infringing Microsoft's patent.
It's all very terrible and illogical, but don't expect Intellectual Property stuff to make any sense at all. The whole thing on what patents and copyright covers is completely arbitrary.
Posted Aug 18, 2013 8:56 UTC (Sun) by SLi (subscriber, #53131)
Posted Aug 18, 2013 9:29 UTC (Sun) by kreijack (guest, #43513)
Anyway I found this page
which highlights a sentence of the point 7 of GPLv2:
"7 [...] For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program."
If I understood correctly, Samsung could not be in position to ship the code (both the source and the Program) at all.
Posted Aug 18, 2013 9:39 UTC (Sun) by SLi (subscriber, #53131)
Nevertheless, copyrights and patents are two very different things (and trademarks are the third category of IPR most often talked about). Copyrights cover the expression, patents cover the idea.
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